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Product key I had my computer repaired at bestbuy my computer had a virus so i reboot and put my windows xp software into my computer and the product key your store gave me they said it had been used before and i cant activate my software on my computer i have had this computer for over 5yrs and i have been the only one using i dont share my software with anyone. I really want to know what bestbuy going to do about this. Thankyou for fixing my computer its been better but now i cant activate my software. from eddie

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  • virgo52 Jul 23, 2008

    i should be on file i had warranty but it ran out. But i was told that using your own computer why does the product key exp. I need help now.



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Hi Virgo50,

Would appreciate if you could be a bit more specific for us to help?

I am proceeding with the solution based on two assumptions:

1. Bestbuy had repaired your PC, reinstalled XP on your PC and then gave you a product key of their own:

If the above is the case, please do contact Bestbuy again and demand them for your original winxp. It is possible to re-activate your old Win XP license even after you have reinstalled Windows XP

The license for a retail version of Windows XP is in perpetuity. You can use Windows XP forever, if you choose.

2. After your PC was repaired by Bestbuy, you had installed winXP on your PC and used the the product key they gave you.

Kindly check for the original product key which you got while purchasing the PC.You will be required to reactivate by a phone call to Microsoft. You will have to write down a 50-digit number, call into the activation center on a toll-free number that will be given to you, read and check back the number you recorded — and explain the circumstances. In exchange, you will be given a 42-digit number to type in. This will reactivate your copy of Windows.

If in future you would want to avoid this from happening again, please follow the below instructions to re-install XP without having to reactivate the Windows XP license (Provided there is no hardware configuration change):

  1. Double click your My Computer
  2. Double click on "C" drive (assuming this is the drive you installed your Operating System)
  3. Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder
  4. Find the files "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" and copy them to a safe location. Kindly back it up in either a floppy drive or a DVD / CD.
  5. Reinstall Windows XP on your reformatted hard drive. Click "No" when asked if you want to go ahead and go through the activation process
  6. Reboot your computer into SafeMode (Press F8 as Windows is booting up to see the Windows Advanced Options menu and select SafeBoot
  7. Open 'My Computer'
  8. Open "C" drive
  9. Go to the C:\Windows\System32 folder
  10. Find the file "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" (if it exists) and rename them to "" and ""
  11. Copy your original "wpa.dbl" and "wpa.bak" files which you had backed up in either a DVD, floppy or CD into the C:\Windows\System32 folder
  12. Restart your system
If the above does not solve your problem. Kindly provide more details like if the PC came pre-installed with the Windows XP Operating System or you separately purchased the license etc.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008


Common practice when vendors sell thousands of machines. They clone the systems. This is legal, and common practice. Take your system back to them for help.

Posted on Jul 24, 2008


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